This blog is being developed for The Free University – a new initiative designed to enable students to learn from the best academics in the world for free.
There is plenty of free content around, but it is not really the content that makes a great university – it is the quality of its academics. What matters is the time that great researchers spend with students, inspiring them, challenging them, encouraging them in their turn to push the boundaries of knowledge forward. Although The Free University does indeed provide links to free content and courses, where it differs from all other similar initiatives is that it intends to bring some of the world’s leading academics together with groups of students, enabling them to craft exciting new ideas together.
Sceptics might ask why academics should contribute of their time freely to participate in seminars and tutorials with students in both live and online forums. There are two simple and convincing answers. The first is that working with bright students is our lifeblood. They in their turns challenge us to come up with new ideas and new ways of teaching. However, there is a second reason. By engaging in the work of The Free University, our own students can benefit from all of the other exciting discussions and content made available by other scholars and scientists. Indeed, imagine the time hard-pressed academics could save by getting their students to participate in some of these seminars as replacements for the teaching that they would otherwise have done!
All enquiries should be directed to Tim Unwin (firstname.lastname@example.org)